Oklahoma prison professionals say backroom politics are at work in the resignation of state Department of Corrections Executive Director Justin Jones, who announced this week he was leaving the job this summer, reports the Tulsa World. Sean Wallace, Oklahoma Corrections Professionals executive director, said Jones was a victim of lobbying by private prison firms.
Jones had been at odds with some policymakers who wanted to increase the state’s reliance on private prisons, an industry with lobbyists who give thousands to politicians in campaign donations. Jones has worked for the state prison agency since 1977 and was named director in 2005. The state prison budget received no increase for fiscal 2014, despite a growing inmate population.